Cardiff in Image

Yesterdays task was to take photographs around Cardiff using the themes provided. We put ourselves into groups of four and together we decided what images would go best with each theme. Our themes were;

  • Concrete Jungle 
  • Life of the Unexpected
  • W’Exit 
  • Land of our fathers

We met by Cardiff Castle at 9:30am, a good time to start as the city wasn’t too busy. The first idea we had was to take pictures of the temporary statues placed on the Castle walls, left from the Roald Dahl celebration. As we continued around Cardiff we came across another temporary thing that could work for the same theme, a statue with a comical sticker stuck to the back of it. We decided that this would work best as it was quite comical and ‘Unexpected’,

Life of the Unexpected

In my opinion the picture answers the theme perfectly. We edited the picture slightly using Photoshop to play around with contrast and brightness so that the sticker was slightly more obvious.

We then continued to the St Davids car park and thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of Cardiff from really high up for the theme concrete Jungle.  We then thought that this would be slightly too obvious. We then came across some ruined buildings and construction workers, which we though would be a really good idea, as there was one building that wasn’t demolished and one that was.

Concrete jungle

I love the angle that this picture has been taken from, I think the difference between both buildings is very effective, as if its showing a before and after. I also like how the first building is closer than the demolished building, giving the image depth and balance. However I think we should have edited slightly more on this picture, possibly experimenting with it in black and white or even to experiment with making the very few colours stand out.

The next image we tried finding was the ‘W’exit’, we found that this was a really hard image to do. We decided to find an image that would show Welsh pride, so we decided to be very simple and take a picture of the welsh flag, floating,


In my opinion the image is rather simple and could have been better, but I think that the strong colours of the flag  and the red flag under it, show that these are the colours you think of when talking about Wales.

For our last picture we wanted to get an image that would go with the theme ‘land of out fathers’, the idea we had was to get an image that would show Welsh heritage. We decided to take a picture of the Church as religion was a big part of out Welsh heritage and also that the architecture and construction of the church was done by those before us.


I really like this picture, I think that the image of the cross is really effective and the different layers gives the image depth. Personally I think we could have experimented more with shadows and contrast on the building, to make it look more striking. What would have also been successful is if the Welsh flag was in the picture, which unfortunately wasn’t up.


Cindy Sherman

“I didn’t have any interest in traditional art.” – Cindy Sherman


Cindy Sherman?

An american photographer who is known for her ‘Film stills’, that rapidly rose to celebrity status in the international art world during 1980. Throughout her work she maintained a sense of expression in the media-dominated civilisation.  Her photography is based on portraits of herself staged in various scenarios showing the different stereotypes of women, in some photographs she poses as screen idols like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren.

Film Stills 1978-1980

Individual characters resembling moments in a film, shown through a series of black and white photographs. The women are dressed in vintage clothing, some wearing wigs and wearing subtle make up. These photographs are presented on gelatine silver print on paper.

Untitled Film Still #17 1978, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film Still 17, 1978
Untitled Film Still #53 1980, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film Still 53, 1980
Untitled Film Still #48 1979, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film still 48, 1979


  • Making the person her main focal point in a very subtle way.
  • using dark tones possibly to convey that the characters aren’t happy?
  • The backgrounds all give a sense of location, which helps to give the person who’s looking at it an idea of where the character is based, why she is there and possibly the meaning of the photo.
  • The dark shadows give the photographs depth, whilst also making them look rather mysterious and gloomy.
  • Using light in the right way, for example in the first and second image the light shines to the back of the women, therefore left to look rather depressed, lonely or mysterious?  In the last picture the light shine directly on the woman, whilst the background is dark and grey.

Pink Robes series

These are some of my favourite images from the photographer. I think the use of lighting is very effective how the dark shadows progress and become darker by the end of the series. Sherman succeeds to show the different emotions through using different lighting and that this is really important when creating portrait images, for example if there was loads of light the same emotions as when its darker wouldn’t be shown.


Today I presented my Baskerville typeface poster. We all placed the posters on the wall and in partners gave feedback on our work, three points about what was positive and one thing we could do better. My partner thought that the background of the poster was a strong feature, and that the paragraphs are well structured.


*Don’t make the logo to big, keep it to a minimal size.

* Leaving white space is always effective.

* Always make sure to cut at the bleed to make the poster tidy.


* Background letters should be all grey to give the poster depth.

* The main title should be smaller to fit the page.

* Leave more space between paragraphs and letters.


Before feedback
After feedback



Modular Typeface design process

As a group we were set the task of creating your own modular system using the graphs provided. After a brief introduction to Modular Typography, we started to create our designs individually on the graph paper of your choice. Independently I started to play around with different ways I could create the typeface. I started off by doing bold lettering, some stretched and some wide and bulky, I then went on to experiment with much thinner  lines working out how to join each line to create a letter.  I tried to experiment with the letters ‘R’ ‘P’ ‘A’ ‘e’ and ‘m’ so that each letter could easily transform into another.


I then decided to start experimenting with half blocks, taking up three lines from the graph to give the fonts a folded look. I found that this typeface worked better with uppercase and lowercase letters. However as a group we decided that these would be too simple and didn’t work together so that each letter could form into another.


We then decided to focus on the middle part of the graph and experiment with what we could do, this was the outcome.

This modular typeface was definitely my favourite, we decided that it was the best typeface to use as it gives you the freedom to create more than one letter following the same tradition.



New Materialism

The meaning of the body -How the social and cultural body is understood and used within my practice.

Task – Write a statement about which models of body you think are understood and used within your practice. Include images if you want.

The social body is understood though the experiences from day-to-day, for example being with your family and friends, going to school, learning about different cultures and rules, therefore the body naturally changes and adapts to society. This is used within my practice everyday when I’m learning new techniques, researching different designers and working with other students. People usually change by their surroundings and from different coincidences for example, because I am a Welsh speaker and have attended a Welsh Primary and Secondary School and learnt about a different culture to other students who have had their education through English. The social body is also used In my practice through the way I create, sketch and think, whilst some students have done foundation degrees and studied Graphic Design before attending university I have come from doing Art and Design as an A level, therefore my way of working and thinking might be different to others.

The cultural body is understood though different “artifacts, practises and institutions, rituals and modes of interaction”. Another way of understanding the cultural body is to look at the work of the famous artist Picasso, whose work changed when World War I began.

Picasso earlier works :

Picasso later works :

Picasso was highly influenced by the war in a way he would create in a more neoclassical style. He was also influenced by the artist Cezanne who wrote to Picasso and told him to look at nature in terms of cones, spheres and cylinders.

Through he course I am influenced by different designers, students and industries and as I learn more about the course and others who are working with me, the way I create and sketch will eventually change and mature over time. Not only will my practice work change but I will also change mentally becoming more independent to experiment with my own form of work and styles.


The difference between touch and sight

Task – Post your 2 drawn images, describe how they are different, and how the differences show how you perceive the object through touch and through sight.


The first picture shows how you perceive the object through touch and the second is through sight. The first drawing is an outline of the object I was holding and there isn’t any detail to the drawing. However the sketch that I created when I could see  the object is much more detailed and you can see the different tones, colours and ridges. Another difference between both pictures is how one is larger than the other. When you are drawing something from feeling you try to get the picture as accurate as you can, but as soon as you can the see the object you are much more confident to create and sketch it so naturally you draw it on a bigger scale. When you try to create the object through touch your mind takes over and starts to create images of what the object looks like, therefore you don’t create what you’re feeling but you create what your mind tells you to do.

In my opinion its like learning to drive a car, at first you are nervous and unsure what to press or move, using your mind to workout how everything is supposed to be used, like you have seen from watching tv or other people driving. Once you have learned the basics and driving becomes more natural to you, you are then more confident and independent to drive by yourself. This is similar to the feeling and seeing because at first you’re unsure what you’re feeling but when you see it you are reassured and more confidant on what you are supposed to be creating.

How the world is as I expect it?

Task – Take your descriptions that you wrote last week and re-write them with this new theoretical support for your observations.

The reality of pictures is that they’re always entirely different objects to the eye, the marks on paper a seen as themselves and as some other thing  according to Gregory, R. 2009. Seeing Through Illusions. New York: Oxford University Press. In relation to the drawings from last week as the outline of the first picture suggests a plain object, you’re drawn to create an image from our experience and knowledge. However the second picture is a much more detailed image, with the different and harder pen strokes suggesting a different or darker colour and the way the lines are created suggest a different texture.

In relation to how different people see the images differently depending on their experiences and prior knowledge, the brain takes to store images you’ve already seen and then you see the present image as objects of the past. whilst I was drawing the object from feeling y mind was distracted by an object I had seen before, I was imagining a wine bottle cap and my brain was as if it was directing me to draw that particular image. Similar to Joseph Jastrow’s Neurological model of perception, where he said the brain is seen as “a photographic camera,with its eyelid cap, its iris shutter, and its sensitive plate… the picture mysteriously transferred to the minds representative, the brain”, Joseph Jastrow, The Mind’s Eye 1901.

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

How we perceive images!


How materials and tools hide from view

Having discussed how materials, just as much as our bodies, have energies, properties and resistances that shape how we act and move in the world, I now realise that each material or tool that we use in our practice is an extension of ‘the working hand’. The tools grow to be a part of the body, for example when you hold a pen or pencil with two fingers and move the tip of the object around a surface you can feel what that surface is, being paper, your clothing or a wooden table. The philosopher Michel Serres explains,

“The hand is no longer a hand when it has taken hold of the hammer, it is the hammer itself, it is no longer a hammer, it flies transparent..”

I question how we manipulate the object to shape our movement,  way of thinking and our creative practice. The tools are moulded by the hand in practice, for example if you were playing an instrument it becomes a part of you, the way you play the instrument or hear it is an inseparable part to the act. Most importantly I have learnt that the boundary between the hand and tool vanishes whilst you are using it, an extract from Pallasmaa’s ‘The Working Hand’ explains that, a painter paints by the means of the mind rather than the brush as a physical object.

I have  significantly developed my knowledge and understanding of how the object becomes a part of our body, shaping our creative practice. I understand that drawn lines aren’t only recognised by my memories and experiences, like I explained in my last text, but they also express the memory and expectancy of the materials in use.

This knowledge could be essential to me as a learner as I am developing my practice and creative skills. It will widen my abilities and shape my practice so that I naturally experiment with different ways I could create and also shape the way I write. Because of this it will naturally push me to express a more personal opinion in my writing and widen my skills and abilities whilst doing my creative practices.

However I am not yet confident about how to connect the working hand within my practices, I will now need to gain a better understanding of the language of materials to be able to fully realise how our experiences are expressed and relate to our practices. As a next step, I need to research the works of different artist, for example Paul Klee who said that “Art does not render the visible; but renders visible“, who specialise in how experiences unconsciously shapes our movements, gestures and practices.

Developing research for end of term essay


  • I’m learning about how we can modify the body, using the cultural body and perception of hypothesis as my inspiration. How do objects shape the body over time? What influences individuals to modify their bodies?
  • I’m doing this because I want to find out how the body is shaped over time by different elements. Using this I will discuss how the brain stores image we have seen and how different objects shape our physical body, for example foot binding.
  • I will do this in order to understand how different practises shapes the human body over time, and possibly how this has an effect on my personal work.

‘How we are changed by looking at the moon’ – week 1 lecture.

*1610 Galileo built the telescope that is now an important piece of technology for visual and material culture. It also changed the way material is understood.
*With this we can now see things that the naked eye couldn’t perceive and giving us a better idea of our relationship to the universe.
*When looking at the body, technology and the universe it is very clear that they’re all related and changes the way we think and the things we do.
*From the text by Mark Johnson, The meaning of the body’ – he states that we objectify the body and that this makes us an object among other objects.

“Once we learn to give up our reductive, hypothesising concepts of the body, we get a very much richer and more complex picture of how we are once always embodied and yet also always more than a thing” .

‘How fire shapes the pelvis’ – week 6 lecture.

*Anthropocentric history is history from the point of human beings, social, political and intellectual development.
*From history we are also taught that materials, things and objects and the environment can also partially shape what we do. To take sunglasses for example, over time humans have become dependant on the glasses so that their eyes aren’t strained in the sun, however I question does this possibly make the eyes weaker?
*Whilst researching the different history of body modification it becomes clear that the body has endless possibilities. In the book ‘The deep history of the human body by Shrylock and Smail …

“Just as human bodies adapt to unanticipated environmental changes, they also adapt to the unintended consequences of cultural, economic, or social transformations” Shyrock & Smail, 2011, p. 73.

How can you modify the body and why do we do it?

Section 1: 300 words
[WHAT] Identity a phenomenon;

“Once we learn to give up our reductive, hypothesising concepts of the body, we get a very much richer and more complex picture of how we are once always embodied and yet also always more than a thing” Mark Johnson, The meaning of the body’, 2008, University of Chicago Press.
Before being able to understand why we modify our bodies we need to understand our relationship with the universe, technology and materials and how everything changes how we perceive different things. In the quote by Mark Johnson, The Meaning of the body, above he shows how we see the body as an object among other objects, however we are much more than that. We are able to change the way we think and see things in different ways to others and explore the human bodies abilities and our power to modify it.

Today we have become over dependant on a variety of elements and materials, and we continue to use these in our lives to it easier. For example, most humans have become very dependant on general glasses and sunglasses, without realising how this object has shaped our body. We use glasses to help us see things better and we use sunglasses as a way to shield our eyes from the sun, however we don’t realise that in the long-term the glasses could be potentially be making our eyes weaker the more we use them. General glasses have also shaped the way we think, they have become a fashion statement that creates a sort of stereotype about different people.

However it is also important to consider how culture has had an effect on the way we modify our bodies, and example of how different beliefs can change the way we look. The more materials we discover and design, potentially the ones that were unintended, will all create new demands of modifying the body over time.

Section 2: 300 words
[HOW] Identify a theory to support the phenomenon;

“The deliberate kind of sculpting takes two forms, the vivid of which consists of the cutting, burning, filling, shredding and scraping of various parts of the body” Shyrock & Smail, 2011, Deep History : The Architecture of Past and Present. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Over time it is hard to understand what drives different individuals to change and modify their bodies. Some people take to the most known forms of body modification for example dieting, Botox injections, hair replacements or body building, this is a way for the individual to feel better about themselves or to be seen as more ‘Beautiful’ or ‘perfect’. However body modification is always dated back to a particular culture or country, and usually it is a traditional apart of their culture that drives these people to change themselves. Take the “giraffe” tribe from Myanmar, Burma for example “Starting at an early age, women of the Padaung tribe wear a coil of brass rings around their necks. This collar, and the elongated appearance it gives their necks over time, are Padaung symbols they wear proudly.” National Geographic, 2013, YouTube, 01/12/2016 16:17.

Another example body modification that isn’t related to just one culture but many, is the use of corsets. The corset was mostly used in the Victorian era to shape womans bodies in a particular way. “The object of the corset was, as British sexologist Havelock Ellis observed, to ‘furnish woman with a method of heightening at once her two chief secondary sexual characteristics, the bosom above and the hips and buttocks below. “H.H. Ellis, Studies in The Psychology of Sex: Sexual Selection in Man, F.A. Davis and Co., Philadelphia, 1918, p. 172. In relation to the idea that different materials shape the body over time the use of a corset shows that it also changes the body in a physical way “Despite the cruel reality of fierce red lines and deep furrows carved into women’s bodies by ‘strings and bones that lashed them in’, the contemporary corset discourse continues to reflect the ‘public’ face of corsetry drawn from quaint advertisements and pornography. ” Leigh Summers, 2001, Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset, United Kingdom by Biddles Ltd, Guildford and King’s Lynn, P.209. Therefore culture plays a very important role in body modification and shows how individuals use different materials to shape the way we look and change the way we think.

Section 3: 300 words
[WHY] Reflect upon the phenomenon once more;

So why do we modify our body? Is it for aesthetic enhancements? Spiritual enlightenment? or culture?

Personally I believe that culture plays a large role in why people modify their body. Religion is a very part of many people’s lives around the world and people choose to express this in many different ways, therefore they change the way they look to prove that they are faithful to that particular religion.

The majority of body modifications have historical backgrounds, however this isn’t always the reason people are driven to do it. Expressing individuality is a very important factor to many individuals, and through body modification they can show their personality using tattoos, piercings, hair transplants or body building etc. You could also say that individuals modify their body to enhance attractiveness or sexuality. Today I personally feel that there is a lot of pressure on people to be perfect, especially with the growth in social media.

After learning how we can modify the body and how different elements and objects can potentially change the way we think an create, I then started to think of how my course in Graphic communication has changed the way I think. After only two months of studying I have already changed in the way I am dependant on my laptop for different,softwares, reasearch and projects, and how I am now thinking in a different way to before. The understanding of body modification may be useful to me whilst doing my course as I would like to think that I express my individuality more through my work using different elements that I have come across before coming to university that other people on my course may not know.

Conclusion (up to 100 words)

This section discusses what you have found out, what has changed about how you think, what new insights have emerged. Here you can also demonstrate how you will apply it to future works- what you will be doing next, remember synthesis is why research is conducted.

In conclusion I have discovered that body modification happens to every one of us, sometimes it happened without us even realising. Whenever we pick up an object, hear a story or piece of information, die our hair or wear a corset we are modifying our body in some way. It has made me realise how important culture, technology, industry and the environment has on our lives and how much it shapes us to be unique individuals. It makes me question how different the world would be without body modification, would certain cultures even be possible? How would different individuals express themselves? and would the idea of a ‘perfect’ person even exist? This is a demonstration I will definitely be applying to my future works, exploring with the many ways I could change the way I think to create or experiment with how different objects and technology could potentially change my work.

Planning My Type Specimen Poster

First draft, playing around with fonts and sizes, before starting on the poster.
Just using the date the font was made

My fist idea was to split the page in half, one side would be white and the other black. Using inspiration from a poster I had studied I created the heading as if it was a part of the black background. Splitting my poster into 12 columns I placed the text above the heading in black writing, using the ‘Baskerville’ font. To show examples of the font and to make them stand out on the page I decided to create examples using, Capital, Bold and italic letters. The poster is to celebrate the ‘Baskerville’ font and show all its elements, on the black side of the poster I decided to create some larger examples of the letters in grey scale this makes them more interesting and visual. To  include the fonts history in the poster I placed the birth date in the top right corner of the black background.

one of my final poster ideas.

On my final draft I have also included an image of the font being used as the heading for the ‘American Gangster’ film poster. I have also included the quote “The king of fonts” that shows its one of the most used and recognised fonts. I really like this poster, it shows the font in a traditional and elegant way just like the font itself. However in my opinion the design is slightly too formal to be a poster, I should have used the size of the page slightly more and possibly created some letters so that they all weren’t just straight and simple.

This is the first draft of my second design, i have used all black for the background letters with white writing over the bold black square. However I wasn’t happy with how simple and plain this design was.
I then decided to change some of the letters to grey scale, which I thinks makes it look less clustered and gives the poster depth.
Th next idea I had was to find a quote that would complete the poster, at the same time showing an example of what the Baskerville font looks like in italics.
Lastly I decided to add the date of when the font was created to the bottom of the page in grey scale, filling the blank space.
Final type specimen poster idea

The final poster was pleasing, the layout celebrates the font in an elegant and traditional way.  I also like how the grey scale gives the poster depth and breaks the letters so they don’t look to clustered on the page. However I could have possibly experimented with what the letters look like in bold.

After reflection I decided to experiment further and see what the poster would look like if I inverted the colours.

Using illustrator to invert the colours
Experimented with the same design but different colours

I thought the lettering in the background was quite effective on the solid black but I think the middle part of the poster wasn’t as striking as it was with a black background.

Examples of type specimen

The main reason I chose this poster was because of its strong layout; using the whole of the page and the heading to show this. I really like how the letter ‘u’ is filled with text, this shows a large example of the typeface. Another strong feature is how the text looks almost as if its stuck to the letter U,this ties the information together in a clear and tidy way. I also like the how the words aren’t in a straight line possibly showing the playful characteristics of the font.


I really like the layout of this poster, the solid black on top of the white background, the contrast between colours makes the poster stand out. The writing on the white and background stands out he work together nicely and gives the poster the detail so that it’s not to simple and doesn’t drag too much attention. The layout of the page is really strong because it celebrates the font in a unique way that doesn’t look too clustered on the page.


The following poster is quite simple but very effective in my opinion. The poster focusses all its attention to the style of the font and possibly showing that it’s quite a simple and elegant font by not playing around too much with the styles and layout. There is also plenty of ways you would experiment with this layout too, possibly inverting the colours and experimenting with how the letters and texts are placed.


This is one of my favourite layouts because it uses the space on the page well and all the characters have a sense of connection. The unique layout catches your eye which is why it’s so successful. The poster also makes it clear that the font is known for its sharp lines and serifs, showing this through the way it’s placed on the page.


Even though the poster below celebrates a much bolder and bigger font to the Baskerville typeface the layout of the poster is very unique and stands out. I really like the use of the space on the page, how all the letters gather  on one side of the page , possibly showing how the typeface is quite modern and futuristic. However this poster is not completed without the effect of the colours so it isn’t useful for the type of poster that I want to create.